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Valve Cover Gasket Replacement - how hard?

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Old 02-03-13, 04:40 PM   #1
JAB
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Default Valve Cover Gasket Replacement - how hard?

After 210K my RX has developed some leaks that can't be ignored. They appear to be from the valve cover gaskets. How involved? What else should be done at the same time? TIA.
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Old 02-03-13, 04:49 PM   #2
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Front valve cover is a piece of cake, 30 minute job. Rear valve cover is a bit more work, requires taking off the intake. Although I believe Salim thinks it may be possible to do the rear valve cover by only removing the windshield cowl, but no one has attempted that yet (i don't think anyways).

Spark Plugs should be done at the same time, as well as changing the PCV.

BTW: Congrats on 210k miles!
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Old 02-04-13, 02:33 AM   #3
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Rear takes a lot of patience, especially removing the wiring harness. Take your time to get it out of the way. Replace the coolant by-pass hose while you are in there. Spend a few extra bucks to buy Toyota FIPG....that stuff is great. IMO, much better that aftermarket RTV's. You will want to replace the sparkplug tube gaskets too.
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Old 02-04-13, 07:54 AM   #4
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A related question can be ... how much clearance is needed to replace the gasket ... assuming you have access to the bolts.

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Old 02-15-13, 05:58 AM   #5
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the bolts in mine where just loose at 120k miles. I could turn them with my fingers. I snugged them up and was good to go.
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Old 02-15-13, 09:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varithms View Post
the bolts in mine where just loose at 120k miles. I could turn them with my fingers. I snugged them up and was good to go.
For the rear cover, can you access the bolts without removing the intake or the cowl?

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Old 02-15-13, 09:39 AM   #7
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Take some pics for us, so we can see how clean it is under there. : )
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Old 02-15-13, 10:06 AM   #8
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I just did this in my ES, and it has far more clearance on the rear bank in the ES than any RX ever will...

Definately have to remove the intake manifold in the ES, so the RX needs it too (it's a two piece, so just remove the top half and replace the gasket) this is good to clean out the intake manifold as well!
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Old 02-15-13, 10:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salimshah View Post
For the rear cover, can you access the bolts without removing the intake or the cowl?

Salim
I could reach the rear of the valve cover from under the car on ramps. It was leaking there the most. On the front side, of the rear valve cover I used a box end wrench (10mm I believe). I could only get to two of the bolts closest to the timing belt and one near the intake. I didn't worry with the one under the intake. It was not leaking from the front of the rear cover. Oil would have to run up hill to leak there, although it is a car, if it can happen it will.

The motor is rotated towards the rear of the car I surprised it didn't leak sooner. You may be able to feed a socket, then short extension, then ratchet, and then tighten the bolts under the intake. Similar process to changing the spark plug. "assembling the tool into the hole"
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Old 03-06-13, 06:06 PM   #10
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How did you know that the rear gasket was leaking?
Did you see oil on the back of the engine?

thanks
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Old 03-06-13, 06:37 PM   #11
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When the car sits for several days in the garage, there is oil leaking on the floor from both the front of the engine and the rear. From that I conclude that both valve cover gaskets are leaking.
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Old 03-07-13, 09:54 PM   #12
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I was talking to the parts counter guy at my local Lexus dealer and explained that I was about to replace the valve cover gaskets. I mentioned that I had been advised to also replace the spark plug tube seals. He told me that unless the plugs show obvious signs of oil accumulation in the tubes that I should not replace them; that they rarely go bad; and that in fact they do not even stock them because they are so seldom replaced. Anyone disagree? TIA.
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Old 03-08-13, 02:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAB View Post
I was talking to the parts counter guy at my local Lexus dealer and explained that I was about to replace the valve cover gaskets. I mentioned that I had been advised to also replace the spark plug tube seals. He told me that unless the plugs show obvious signs of oil accumulation in the tubes that I should not replace them; that they rarely go bad; and that in fact they do not even stock them because they are so seldom replaced. Anyone disagree? TIA.
BS! The rubber on those seals will be hard as rocks, just like a high mileage PCV valve grommet. They will never properly seal once you remove/reinstall the covers. The seals are cheap and easy to replace. My vote is to change them.
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Old 03-11-13, 04:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnovak01 View Post
How did you know that the rear gasket was leaking?
Did you see oil on the back of the engine?

thanks
I change my oil. I could see it on the exhaust manifold bolts.
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Old 03-11-13, 07:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artbuc View Post
BS! The rubber on those seals will be hard as rocks, just like a high mileage PCV valve grommet. They will never properly seal once you remove/reinstall the covers. The seals are cheap and easy to replace. My vote is to change them.
+1

Also, don't ignore the obvious. Try putting a wrench on the valve cover bolts and make sure they are tight. At least one other poster solved his leaking valve cover gasket problem by simply snugging up the bolts.
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Old 03-11-13, 07:07 AM
 
 
 
 
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1999, 2000, 2001, 350, cover, gasket, lexus, ls430, mileage, rear, replace, replacement, rx, rx300, valve

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